Toyota Opportunity Exchange Makes its Motown Debut

28th Annual Event Brings Tier 1 Suppliers and Minority Businesses Together in Detroit
November 09, 2017
DETROIT (Nov. 9, 2017) – At Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit today, the 28th Toyota Opportunity Exchange brought together minority, and women-owned businesses and representatives from Tier 1 suppliers to network, help foster relationships and strengthen the automotive supplier base.

This was the first time the event was held in Detroit. Michigan, home to 60 of the top 100 North American automotive suppliers and over 1,700 automotive-related manufacturing facilities, is the ideal location to bring together representatives from companies that drive the automotive industry with companies that aspire to do the same. Michigan’s strong automotive history and vast supplier base was also the catalyst for Toyota’s recent $154 Million investment to expand its research and development operations and create its Supplier Center in the state.

“With the relocation of our purchasing team as well as the construction of our Supplier Center in Michigan, it only made sense to bring the Opportunity Exchange event to Detroit. The goal of Opportunity Exchange is to connect diverse companies with Tier I suppliers, and the largest concentration of those Tier 1’s is right here in Michigan,” said Robert Young, group vice president for Toyota Purchasing, Supplier Engineering Development (SED) and Cost Planning. “By strengthening critical skills, business insight, and networking, our goal is to turn today’s connections into tomorrow’s relationships.”
 
Throughout its 28-year history, the Toyota Opportunity Exchange has allowed hundreds of diverse businesses to cultivate and strengthen relationships within the automotive space.

“As the Piston Group continues to grow, we have consistently delivered high customer satisfaction, high quality and low cost, enabling our selection as a supplier to Toyota," said Vinnie Johnson, founder, chairman and CEO of Piston Group. "We are proud of our partnership with Toyota, and thrilled to participate in the Opportunity Exchange.” 

The event includes a trade show, seminar and panel discussions that focus on how diverse suppliers can turn relationships into opportunities.

“Our annual participation in the Toyota Opportunity Exchange has been a key component in our exponential business growth with Toyota in chemical management, and continues to spur creativity within the Chemico organization," said Leon C. Richardson, president & CEO, The Chemico Group. "We are thrilled that this year’s event is being held in our hometown -- the Motor City.” 

Beginning in 1989 with 300 attendees, Toyota Opportunity Exchange has grown to over 1,800 attendees and has generated hundreds of millions in contracts for suppliers.

For more information, visit ToyotaOpportunityExchange.com.
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands.  Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.8 million cars and trucks (nearly 2.5 million in the U.S.) in 2015 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.  

Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment.  As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.

About Chemico:
Chemico Group is an ISO-9001 and 14001 certified chemical management supplier specializing in integrated solutions for the entire chemical lifecycle — from procurement to on-site inventory management, distribution to environmentally conscious disposal. Founded in 1989, the veteran and minority-owned company has three business lines that provide chemical management services, coatings removal and paint maintenance and industrial supply solutions. Chemico generates more than $100 million in annual sales and has experienced growth every year since inception. Its customers span across a variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, electronics and healthcare. With more than 300 employees and 11 facilities in North America, Chemico is expanding services to Europe and South America. For more information, visit www.thechemicogroup.com.

About Piston Group Companies:
Piston Automotive and Detroit Thermal Systems design, engineer, assemble and manufacture a wide variety of automotive parts and systems. With annual sales of more than $1 billion, Piston Automotive has 700 employees at locations in Detroit; Redford, Michigan; Louisville, Kentucky; North Kansas City, Missouri, and Toledo, Ohio. Based in Romulus, Michigan, Detroit Thermal Systems has 600 employees with annual sales of $270 million. Acquired in 2016, Irvin Automotive is the largest independent cut & sew manufacturer in North America, with 7000 employees and annual sales of $400 million.   AIREA, Inc. is an office design studio and furniture dealer with stores in Detroit and Southfield, Michigan. AIREA has 30 employees with annual sales of $20 million. Last year the four companies had combined sales of nearly $1.3 billion. All four are MBE certified. For more information visit www.pistongroup.com, www.detroitthermalsystems.com, www.irvinautomotive.com or www.aireainc.com.

About Mac Arthur Corporation
Mac Arthur Corporation is a Michigan headquartered global supplier of labels, tags and die-cut components to the automotive, electronics, and industrial markets serving customers in more than 20 countries from locations in the U.S., Mexico, Poland and China. With more than 40 years of experience, MacArthur Corporation creates solutions for the most demanding customer applications.  The company is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), and a certified Women Owned Small Business (WOSB).  For more information visit www.MacArthurCorp.com.
Media Contacts
 Brian Watkins
(734) 219-8015
brian.watkins@toyota.com

Tiana Dudley
(844) 879 8252 ext. 3,
Tiana@theallenlewisagency.com

Vicki Richardson
(313) 541-8546
vrichardson@pistongroup.com
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